Strong Storms Moving into Denver
A Derecho is a line of intense, widespread, and fast-moving windstorms and sometimes thunderstorms that moves across a great distance and is characterized by damaging winds.
Knowing that it’s easy to see why Saturday’s wind and rain event is being classified as an official Derecho but seeing the dynamics come together to create conditions favorable for derecho formation in the intermountain west is exceedingly rare. In Meteorology, in order to have a verified derecho, there needs to be a storm path of at least 240 miles long and wind gusts reported of 58 mph or better along that path.
There are only two documented Derechos that have impacted the western United States. One happened in May of 1994 and one in June of 2002. So, to say this is a rare, exceedingly rare event is completely valid.
What makes this exceedingly rare is that this derecho crossed over the Continental Divide in Colorado which consists of multiple 13,000-foot mountains and typically tears apart storms due to its dramatic topography but this derecho was strong enough to overcome that.
Saturday’s Storms Near Aspen Snowmass
Suffice to say, this is the reason that there was so much tree damage and even some structural damage across the region.
Wind Gusts at Our Member Ski Areas on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
Winter Park: 110 mph
Copper Mountain: 90 mph
Powderhorn: 49 mph
Telluride: 46 mph
Silverton: 62 mph
~Andy (Find Andy’s Weather Page on Facebook)
AndysWeather.com. Andy is Colorado Ski Country’s Communication Coordinator. He is also a trained meteorologist with over 6 years of experience working most recently as a broadcast meteorologist.